By Amy MacKinnon
My email inbox is more full than ever before. I've heard from long ago friends and complete strangers, all of whom have been supportive and kind. To know there are people out there actually reading Tethered is a little jarring though, like someone poking around the shadowlands within me.
Neighbors I've never met have stopped by to ask if I'm the one who wrote the book and then wished me well.
My father called the other day to say when he started his car, the radio came on, and my voice filled the space. "You're like a Hollywood celebrity, Amy," he said. There was a catch, but he swallowed it. "Your mother and I are real proud of you." I didn't tell him it was a very local show and the interview lasted only six minutes; we all want to believe our children are somehow special.
I've scrubbed the bathrooms and the windowsills, I've managed to vacuum every other day. The laundry still gets away from me.
I walked past my local Barnes & Noble the other day and was a bit wistful to see the display window filled with books that came out the same time as mine. This is my turf, I thought. In the next moment, I accepted that my book was one among many and as Lynne says, we each have our own journey. With my next step, I noticed another display window. In it was a poster-sized photo of me and copies of only my book. It reminded me to keep moving forward.
Most people don't know who I am, don't know that I've written a book, and don't care.
I've received my first 1-star review on Amazon. I expected it to hurt. Instead, it made me wonder about the laws of attraction.
I received my first newspaper review from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. This from a writing instructor.
My children and I finished their back-to-school shopping. They'll be leaving me in a week's time, gone for hours each day. I'll miss them terribly.
Yesterday at my local library, the place I learned to read, a librarian asked if I was the author of "that book." She said there was a wait-list and she looked forward to reading it. Another woman approached me with her two children in tow, "I saw you in the paper, you wrote that book. Congratulations." After I mumbled a thank you, she then turned to her kids and said, "This is a real live author, she wrote a book..." Something to that effect. I was too embarrassed, too shy to hear anymore much less do the proper thing and greet her children. I promise to do better next time.
Yesterday, I went to the doctor's, the pharmacy, supermarket, and corner store. No one knew or cared who I was.
Also yesterday, a package arrived from New York, something from my agent. I opened it and was stunned to discover a gorgeous fountain pen inscribed with the title of my book and its pub day. She believes in me and that is why you need an agent.
I received a charming note from Ann Patchett in response to one I wrote her. It's tucked away in the first copy of Tethered I received from my publisher. If my house were on fire and my children safely out, I would race back in to save both.
I sleep through the night now.